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Level: Advanced (Level 3)Awarding Body: OCR

Why study Economics?

Studying Economics is about having a greater understanding of the world we live in and being able to appreciate the interdependence of consumers, firms and governments at a local, national and international level.

2016-2017 was a year where controversial economic issues made the headlines. In the field of Microeconomics (the study of the behaviour of individuals or groups such as consumers, firms or workers) the growth of technological firms like Google, Uber and Spotify dominated the headlines. In the field of Macroeconomics (the study of the economy as a whole) the UK, Europe and the rest of the world (ROW) were faced with a combination of issues such as; Brexit, the election of Donald Trump and the demise of Venezuela.

Economics will help you to explain and analyse such issues using economic data, models and indicators. You will be able to use key theories to explain changes in the economic environment and learn how to organise, present and communicate ideas. You will also develop the confidence to make economic judgements on economic policy prescriptions in a structured and convincing manner.

What can it lead to?

As one of the fastest growing and increasingly relevant A Levels, Economics is highly valued by both employers and higher education institutions.  Many of our Economics students’ progress onto University after leaving St Charles; around 75% go onto study an Economics related degree.

The analytical approach required of the subject means that students will have a good foundation for opportunities in a number of areas including:

Degrees: Economics, Economics and History or Politics or Economics and Computing. Students could also apply to study coding via providers such as; General Assembly, Code Bar or Founders and Coders.

Employment opportunities: Stock Broking and Merchant Banking, Law, Accountancy, Journalism, Politics, Management, Civil Service, Insurance, and the City.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency's Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey (DLHE) examines first degree graduate destinations six months after they graduated. According to their research 81.45 of graduates were in employment six months after graduation. They also found that 57.2% worked in Business, HR & finance where job roles included Financial Analyst, Auditing and Investment Banking.

How is the course organised?

Board: OCR

The OCR Economics specification gives a strong grounding in both microeconomics and macroeconomics, through a three-component externally assessed qualification. The specification content has been designed to capture and inspire the learner’s interest in making links to modern life and the world around them. It provides the opportunity to study a wide range of concepts which can be applied in a variety of contexts. At the heart of OCR Economics is its relevance to the modern world; its topicality will engage the learner and facilitate an understanding of their role in society. The stimulating specification content will encourage learners to develop their skills as independent learners, critical thinkers and decision makers – all personal assets that can make them stand out as they progress to higher education and/or the workplace.

How is the course assessed?

In the first year the course will be assessed internally as follows:

AS Level in Economics – Microeconomics 50% 1 hour 30 minutes Exam

AS Level in Economics – Macroeconomics 50% 1 hour 30 minutes Exam

In the second year the course will be assessed externally as follows:

Paper 1: Microeconomics 33.33 % 2 hour Exam

Paper 2: Macroeconomics 33.33% 2 hour Exam

Paper 3: Themes in Economics (Synoptic) 33.33% 2 hour Exam

What do I need to qualify for this course?

In addition to normal College entry requirements, students must have at least a grade 4 (C) in Mathematics AND English Language.

Students do not need to have studied this subject before.  Students aspiring to study Economics at most Russell Group universities will also need to study A level Mathematics.       

An interest in the news, both on a national and international level is crucial and you will be expected to read newspapers, books and journals to keep abreast of the news on a weekly basis. All students will receive free login details for the Economist, the Financial Times and the Guardian to help them achieve this goal.

You will need to purchase a core textbook for the A Level course and a revision guide (approximately £20 each per year.

Who are the teachers?

The Head of Department is Mr Choudhri. He has a degree in Economics and Politics from Goldsmiths, University of London and holds a Post Compulsory PGCE from UCL Institute of Education (IOE). The Economics Department shares a vision in creating a department that is engaging, skills-driven and exam-focused.

Mr Choudhri is currently working closely with OCR and Tutor2u to enhance the effectiveness of the department at delivering the new linear specification. For example, the department is creating an assessment plan for 2018-2019 where students will have two assessment points (AP’s) per half term using OCR examination resources and guidance.

In addition, the department has built strong links with financial and technological firms such as Deutsche Bank, Google & General Assembly so that students can benefit from trips, research and employment opportunities.

For more information contact Mr Choudhri fch@stcharles.ac.uk

What do students say about the course?

My name is Kehinde Adeboye, and as an ex-student of St Charles I am now pursuing a career as an Economics teacher. At St Charles I really enjoyed studying Economics, and it fast became one of my favourite subjects. I loved that I could see the relevance of what I was studying in the news and what was happening in the UK economy and the Eurozone. Throughout the course, I developed valuable skills which equipped me for my other A Levels.  I have just completed a BSc in Economics at Loughborough University and will shortly be starting my PGCE course to become a teacher.

Extra Curricular

The Economics department has built close links with a series of finance and technological firms such as Deutsche Bank, Google & General Assembly. Visits to campuses across London will be arranged so that students can see the breadth of job opportunities and roles that are available in these fields. For example, a handful of students visited Google Campus on Demo night so that they can grasp how entrepreneurs created and present their inventions.

In addition, students will visit the Bank of England to grasp the role of the Monetary Policy (MPC) in setting interest rates to target the 2% inflation rate.

The department also works closely with several leading universities who come to give presentations or offer our students workshops to encourage higher order skills and application of economic theories to real world events. Phillip Coggan, the Editor of the Economist Magazine visited Economics students to discuss his views on topics issues such as Brexit and give advice to students wishing to study Economics at university.